Cronton Country Park

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MERSEYSIDE, UK. 2012

Upper Plateau, winter
Upper Plateau, summer
Lower plateau, summer
11
Upper Plateau
Yard
Mineral Railway
Knowsley
Spoil Heap
Lower Plateau
11
Tunnels
Paths
Site plan
11

The park provides a framework for a collection of new uses and activities to populate the site of a former colliery to the south of Liverpool. A network of paths traces the routes through the coal seams below organising the site and telling the story of past land use. This strategy allows for the preservation, exploration and incremental development of the site whilst ensuring the long-term future of a beautiful, socio-cultural landscape from our recent past.


The park's uses are driven by the nature of the site, the existing local resources and our reading of the Land Trust's values and ambitions for the site. The rangers' station, pub, climbing centre and community hall provide a robust, multi-sector appeal strengthening existing assets and building ties to local, arts, music, fitness, wildlife and education groups, all ensuring broad and continuing support for the new park.


The reimagining of a version of the landscape that exists only on paper redefines how visitors see the site, revealing traces of a previous world defined and consumed by the colliery, a landscape that supported a community. The paths tracing the routes of the tunnels far below the visitors’ feet explain the enormous physical work involved in extracting the coal from the ground as well as illustrating the wandering routes of the seams within the rock. The landscape mats, that indicate where the tunnels widen to excavate from the rich banks of coal below, will provide areas for picnics, lectures or reading. These paths will allow visitors to explore the varied and changing nature of the park – giving everyone their own version of tranquility or activity.

Project start
2012


Project completion
2020


Client
The Land Trust


Area
43 hectares 


Architect
Michael Lee Architects


Structural Engineer
Arup


Environmental Engineer
Max Fordham


Landscape Design
Michael Lee Architects


Ecologist

Biodiversity by Design


Quantity Surveyor
Jackson Coles


Photography
Chris Howgate

Michael Lee